Welcome to the BH&PS web site. 
We also have a Facebook page so please don't forget to "Like" us at


1:00 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
1:00 to 3 p.m. Summer Saturdays (June through October)
and by special appointment.

Call ahead for special tours of our collections or for access to our research library.  Books on Bristol history, historic maps, prints and other items are available for sale in our Museum Corner Gift Shop during open hours.

Society members will receive direct mailings of upcoming events 
and this site will provide updates as they occur.  To become a
 member, stop by the Society during open hours or click on 
the membership page to your left.

An Unusual Opportunity is Coming Up on Friday, March 3rd

The BH&PS and Roger Williams University, as Co-Sponsors, will present a live broadcast of a daylong conference at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University


The broadcast will take place at Roger Williams University’s School of Law, Appellate Courtroom 283.  This is a one-day event on Friday, March 3, from 9 to 5 p.m.  It is free and open to members of the Society as well as to the public.  Visitors may check in at the RWU gatehouse for parking information.  

No need to make a special reservation...
just come and go as you please between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The conference is part of the Harvard and Slavery initiative, founded in 2007, which examines in detail the range of Harvard’s connections to slavery.  For this conference, the topic expands to include other universities across the United States and around the world.  

As a bonus for Society Members and others who are interested:

During the conference lunchtime break, RWU Assistant Professor of History Charlotte Carrington-Farmer will hold a brown-bag lunch discussion about Roger Williams’ views on enslavement.  Bring a lunch and join the discussion at 12:15 p.m. in the School of Law Appellate Courtroom 283.

Conference speakers will include:

Drew Gilpin Faust, President of Harvard University

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Journalist, national correspondent for The Atlantic, author of Between the World and Me and The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood

Natastha Trethewey, former United States Poet Laureate, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing, Emory University

Annette Gordon-Reed, Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History, Harvard Law School, and Professor of History, Harvard University

*  Julian Bonder, Principal, Wodiczko + Bonder and Julian Bonder + Associates; Professor of Architecture, Roger Williams University


Guided museum tours are available during open hours.
 Tour the exhibits throughout the building including the old jail cells, the Burnside exhibit, the Children's Exhibit Room, the Almy Exhibit Room.  
Free to members and $3 for non members.  Bring your out-of-town guests for a tour!  
For group tours, please call ahead so that we may prepare for your visit.
Walking Tours of Downtown Bristol take place on Thursday afternoons from May through October.


Next Meeting:  March 4, 2016, at 9 a.m.

Society Headquarters

Presentation by club member, Michael Stills:
"Myths, Legends & Lies"
Discussion of the Importance of Research Goals

The Club meets regularly on the 1st Saturday of the month except for July and August. If the Saturday falls on a holiday weekend, the group will meet the following Saturday.
Open To All - Just Walk In and Join the Group
send an email to: 
and request to be added to the Genealogy Club Mailing List for notices about upcoming meetings, general genealogical events throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and other information shared between members.

                   Individual Review of Research Problems

We have a very lively group and we devote a portion of each meeting to our "brick wall roundtable" to help members with their individual research problems.  The idea is for members to present their latest "brick wall" so others can help decide what to do next.  The purpose of this short session is not to review an entire family history nor is it to actually solve the entire brick wall but is instead to give ideas on HOW to solve it.

As of December 2015, Fire, Burglar and Security systems at the BHPS are fully installed due to the receipt of a generous $15,000 matching grant from The 1772 Foundation.  The BHPS has motion alarms and security cameras throughout the building, has a secured entry alarm system and a fire alarm system that is directly linked to the Town of Bristol Fire Department.  As part of its 2015 Matching Grants for Historic Preservation made available to organizations in Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island, The 1772 Foundation Grant has enabled the Society to protect its unique research library, its extensive paper document room, the significant portrait collection, and all of the other artifacts throughout the building.

Founded in 1936 to promote interest in historical research and preservation, to stimulate the study of the history of Southern New England, especially the Town of Bristol, to collect and preserve whatever pertains thereto, and to provide museum quarters for the exhibition of the same and a meeting space for our members.

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